After reaching the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship, Duke junior Hanna Mar lost to the eventual runner-up.
Mar, ranked No. 35 in the preseason, was one of 32 tennis players invited to compete in the prestigious tournament hosted by Columbia in New York. She was automatically entered into the tournament after winning the USTA/ITA Division I Regional Championship in October.
“I think she did really well,” assistant coach Marc Spicijaric said. “You can take a lot of positives from the matches that she won. I think you can even go back to two weeks ago at regionals when she really started to get confident from doing well there. We were really trying to build [her confidence] going into to this weekend.”
Mar began tournament play as the sixth seed. She faced No. 89 Aleksandra Josifoska of UNLV in the round of 32 and won 6-3, 6-1 before easily defeating No. 41 Katie Le of Santa Clara 6-1, 6-1 in the round of 16. Mar, however, was unable to carry her strong performance into the round of eight, where she fell to No. 22 Anett Schutting of Berkeley, 6-2, 6-1. Schutting went on to place second in the tournament.
“Overall, I’m pleased with my results,” Mar said. “I had not made the tournament before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I knew there was going to be some tough competition and some of the top players, so going in there and winning two matches, I’m really happy with how it turned out.”
With her performance in the tournament, Mar ends the 2012 fall season with a 13-3 record, going 5-2 against ranked opponents.
“I’m happy with my season,” Mar said. “I think I improved over the course of the season, and I also gained more confidence in my playing, so that’s a really good place to be.”
At the Kitty Harrison Invitational in Chapel Hill, Mar’s teammates, senior Mary Clayton and junior Marianne Jodoin, won their respective brackets. Ranked No. 44, Clayton wrapped up the blue draw with a victory against No. 24 Lauren McHale of North Carolina, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4, while No. 27 Jodoin crushed Marshall’s Ellie Ball in the finals of the white draw, 6-1, 6-0.
The doubles pair of Clayton and Blue Devil sophomore Annie Mullholland lost in the semifinals to Dominik Zapranzna and Maria Voscekova of Marshall but rebounded against Virginia’s Maria Fuscillo and Hana Tomlijanovic to claim third place.
Duke finishes the fall season with a 46-24 singles record and a 20-8 record in doubles play. The team looks forward to returning in January, with a focus on Mar as a key player for the spring season.
“Myself, [head coach Jamie Ashworth] and her teammates believe in Hanna… but sometimes she doesn’t necessarily believe how good she is compared to some girls in the country,” Spicijaric said. “She’s been working really hard and it’s really great for her to achieve her goals because she’s been putting in time off the court. I think she had a really good fall, and I think she’ll have a lot of confidence going into the Spring semester. That will not only be good for herself, but it will do good for the team as well.”